Weekend Wrap-Up

Potter Hits New Heights With Deathly Hallows

By John Hamann

November 21, 2010

Magic style!

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Speaking of The Dark Knight and its top scoring $158 million opening, The Deathly Hallows might have had a very strong shot at being the biggest opener of all-time had it been shot in 3D and charged the 15% premium. Regardless, the super-sized opening props the door wide open for Part 2 of The Deathly Hallows to become the biggest opener of all time, as that one should be exhibited in 3D, and charge the premium. There was a lot of pressure on the first part of Deathly Hallows to perform well, as the results from this film will almost certainly be mirrored in July when Part 2 hits screens. It is currently scheduled to open on a Friday, so if the date of July 15, 2011 holds, we could see The Dark Knight's record fall. If Warner Bros. moves the opening to Wednesday, July 13, 2011, we won't.

The Potter films have always received solid reviews, and Potter 7 was no different. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was reviewed by 196 critics, and of those, 154 were fresh, giving this one a rating of 79%. Top critics at the site were similar, with a 74% fresh rating. That compares well with the other films in the series, as the other six films have a range of 78% fresh to 90%. It is just off the average rating for a Potter film, which comes in at 82.5%. Quality is at the heart of these films, and there has been no misstep over seven films. Hopefully, Part 2 will not be a Matrix Revolutions and compromise the franchise.


Finishing second this weekend is Megamind, which has been severely punished by Harry Potter. After dipping 37% last weekend to $29.1 million without any kid-friendly competition, Megamind fell an expected 44% versus Potter, earning $16.2 million. Still out to a quite wide 3,771 venues (the top four films have a combined venue count of 14,340 this weekend), the 3D animated flick had a venue average of $4,280. Megamind crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday, its 16th day of release, which gives an indication of where Megamind might end up. Shark Tale earned $100 million in 15 days, after opening similarly to Megamind ($47.6 million to $46 million). Shark Tale finished with $160 million domestically, and Megamind should come in close to that. The production budget here was $130 million, so after foreign coin is counted, Megamind will end up as a fairly decent win for the folks at Paramount at DreamWorks Animation, but this is certainly no How To Train Your Dragon ($217 million domestic finish). Its current domestic total is $109.5 million.

As odd as it seems, Unstoppable finished closer to Megamind than it did last weekend, when it opened. After debuting last weekend with $22.7 million - $6.4 million behind Megamind, the Denzel Washington flick took in $13.1 million in its second frame, now only $3 million behind Megamind after the second showdown. Unstoppable fell 42%, which isn't bad at all, considering the Harry Potter gorilla in the theater, hogging the larger venues. With that hold, the 20th Century Fox film should finish at the high end of the usual Tony Scott/Denzel Washington team ups in the $60-$70 million range. Unstoppable won't reach its $100 million production budget in domestic ticket sales, however, we don't have a lot of data yet, and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, I will wait another weekend before predicting its domestic finish. Denzel is quite popular overseas in this type of film, so $150 million worldwide (or more) is a real possibility. Currently Unstoppable has a running total of $42 million.

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